We’ve known for a while that smoking is bad for our health, and it’s not so good for our teeth either. It increases the risk of gum disease, which is the leading reason for tooth loss among adults. In fact, smokers have twice the risk of gum disease than nonsmokers do. Furthermore, female smokers are 2.5 times more likely to experience tooth loss, and 3.5 times higher for men.
A new study reveals why tooth loss among smokers is substantially higher than those who don’t smoke. Smoking impacts the body’s ability to recover from infections, which includes tooth infections as well.
Researchers at Case Western University published their study in the Journal of Endodontics. Researchers studied 69 people, 32 were smokers, and 37 were nonsmokers that had irreversible endodontic pulpitis, which is usually caused by a tooth infection. While some of the people were symptomatic presenting with pain or other symptoms, others were asymptomatic, meaning they had no symptoms whatsoever. However, all subjects required root canal therapy to resolve their tooth infection.
Results state that smokers had much lower levels of two key immune compounds known as tumor necrosis factor and human beta defensin. These levels related directly to smoking, which explains why smokers experience poor results from root canals than nonsmokers do.
Reasons to quit smoking
The results of this study teach us that smoking is bad for our oral health. Not only does it negate having a root canal, but it most certainly increases the risk of losing teeth. While you might just assume you can replace a missing tooth with a dental implant, that isn’t always the case.
Smoking actually impacts the success rate of a dental implant, too. It actually triples your risk of a failed implant, so you are better off to quit smoking if you want to save your teeth or at least have options for tooth replacement.
The sooner, the better – research shows that it can take the body 10-15 years to rid itself of toxins left behind from smoking. This also means it could take that long for your body to return to normal risk of gum disease, tooth loss, and dental implant success rates.
Dentist in Boaz
At Wall Street Dentistry, we believe that kicking the habit is not only good for your body but your oral health as well. If you are a smoker, you should pay extra special attention to your oral health by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Plus, be sure you see your dentist in the Boaz area at Wall Street Dentistry twice a year for dental cleanings. If you have gum disease, you may require more frequent visits to the dentist for gum disease treatments. While smoking may hinder your success of stopping gum disease, you still should make your best effort to keep your mouth clean and healthy, and if at all possible, quit smoking.
To learn more about keeping your mouth healthy, please contact Wall Street Dentistry by calling (256) 878-0525 to schedule a consultation.
Wall Street Dentistry welcomes patients of Albertville, Boaz, and Guntersville, Alabama.